SIX and 7-year-old second-graders at the R. Dilong elementary school in Trstená have recently received new notebook computers. They will use them to work at school, but also on homework, the Oravské Noviny regional paper reported. It's a pilot project sponsored by a major software company, which is also meant as a reward for innovation and project activities carried out by the class's teacher, Peter Pallo, and his colleague Ľudovít Mačor.
On March 28, the class of 18 second-graders proudly received their "miracles" of technology.
The second-graders are the only ones in Slovakia, and perhaps the whole world, to have notebooks instead of paper pads on their desks.
"They are probably the only children in Europe, if not in the whole world, who have their own notebooks and who can learn from them at this age," Ľudovít Mačor, the deputy headmaster of the school in Trstená told the private TV channel JOJ.
"It is certainly not meant to replace the traditional teaching forms of writing and similar things. It should be just a tool," Mačor said.
Pupils can use the notebooks to find information themselves with the help of internet, to which they have access at school. Their teacher can send homework to those with internet access at home; children can then send their work back to the teacher.
"Their homework comes back to me automatically corrected, with the grades already calculated too," class teacher Pallo explained.
Children who are unable to attend classes due to illness can still be supervised by their teacher, even taking part in lessons thanks to the web-camera on the notebook.
"With this project, we want to develop some experience and share it with other schools," Roman Baranovič, programme partner for the school (Microsoft Slovakia), told JOJ TV.
However, these pupils now have one more homework task: recharging the batteries of their notebooks.
14. Apr 2008 at 0:00 | Compiled by Jana Liptáková from press reports